Inflammatory Bowel Disease
What is IBD?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) describes challenging disorders that cause chronic, potentially debilitating inflammation of the digestive system. The two most common disorders that can arise from IBD are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Common Symptoms of IBD:
- Gas & bloating
- Abdominal pain
- Upset stomach & nausea
- Mucus or blood found in stool
- Diarrhea & frequent bowel movements
Complications From IBD:
- Anal fistulas
- Kidney stones
- Perforated bowel
- Anemia or blood clotting
- Higher risk of developing colon cancer
When to See A Specialist:
- Heavy abdominal pain or diarrhea
- Flares of abdominal pain
- Experiencing excess weight loss
- Abnormal dehydration
How is IBD treated?
A gastroenterologist will first discuss a patient’s symptoms with them to help diagnose the level of their IBD conditions. After assessing the conditions, the gastroenterologist will discuss treatment options with the patient to help decide the best treatment plan.
The treatment options for IBD depend on the patient’s specific symptoms and severity. A gastroenterologist can prescribe medications to help control a patient’s inflammation & symptoms, and patients can also take over-the-counter medicine such as antidiarrheal medicine and probiotics to help ease their symptoms.
Surgical treatments may be required for more serious cases of IBD, including certain instances of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Disparities in IBD Care:
Blacks and American Indians / Alaskan Natives saw the biggest annual percentage increases in IBD from 2001-2018.1
Black patients are 91% less likely than white patients to receive an appropriate work-up for IBD.2
Black patients with IBD are less likely to be under the care of a GI specialist and have a higher rate of ER visits than white patients.3